August 30, 2022 at 6:15 p.m.

Special blessing

Special blessing
Special blessing

By Carol [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

St. Rose of Lima parishioners complete

church renovations in time for fall festival  

The Rev. Derek Wiechmann sprinkled holy water on the altar in the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church sanctuary in St. Rosa Aug. 23, as parishioners watched; many he knew because he was raised in this parish. Wiechmann was preceded by the Most Rev. Donald Kettler, bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud, performing this special blessing, and followed by the Rev. Daniel Walz, parish pastor. 

The blessing, Mass and ice cream social celebrated a major renovation project, fittingly on the Feast of St. Rose of Lima. 

“That was our goal, to have it done by the parish festival on Sept. 4,” said Lisa Herdering, renovation committee member, along with Carrie Kerfeld, Mary Jepperson and Mary Kay Herkenhoff with approval from trustees John Klaphake and Duane Hellmann and the finance council.

Lisa Herdering said the worship space renovations were done as the parish prepares to celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2023. The current church building was moved to St. Rosa from Freeport, after Sacred Heart parish built a new church in Freeport in the late 1890s. There have been upgrades to the church building over the years, including a gathering space addition and elevator in 2017. 

This four-month project started April 18, the day after Easter, with Mass held in the church basement until late August. 

The committee worked with Henning Church and Historical Restorations LLC, from Forest Lake, on the design work to renovate and repaint the interior of the church. 

“Cracks had to be sanded down, and there were imperfections that had to be taken care of,” Herdering said.

She said intricate painting was done. 

“The borders on the ceiling and the sidewalls mimic one of the designs on the stained glass windows,” Lisa Herdering said. 

Furniture in the sanctuary is new, including the main altar, tabernacle stand, back altar, baptismal font and ambo and stands for the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Rose of Lima statues on either side of the sanctuary. The committee worked with John Harlander, from the Wood Shop of Avon, whose employees built the furniture.   

“The Wood Shop did an amazing job,” Lisa Herdering said.

Linda Mader did touch up work on the statues and supplied the Last Supper picture on the main altar. 

A large wooden cross in the sanctuary was constructed by Dean Lange using wood from cedar trees that blew down on church property during last summer’s storm, and the hand-crafted corpus for the cross has been ordered from Italy, with an anticipated arrival in November or December. 

“That would be a wonderful Thanksgiving or Christmas gift,” Walz said.

 A similar cross, made by Jeff Fleischhacker and Jeff Herdering, is in the cemetery.

The cross that hung in the sanctuary is in the gathering space.  

The tabernacle, which is being cleaned, is expected to be returned the end of September. The Stations of the Cross are being repainted. A new votive candle area is located in the back of the church. 

Arnzen Construction, of St. Rosa, built the railing and did the stair work in the sanctuary, which allows for more room and everything being on one level, Lisa Herdering said. New carpeting and wood flooring was installed by Hennen Floor Covering, of Freeport. New ceiling lighting was installed by Freeport Electric. 

Proceeds from the annual raffle and donations will help fund the renovation project. 

The first Mass in the renovated church was Aug. 21 as the completion goal was met. 

“I was chatting with Fr. Derek after the blessing Mass, talking about the construction and said I went into church that morning to look at things and it felt like a church again,” Lisa Herdering said.

Parishioners are happy to be back in their church home. Candles lit up the renovated worship space Aug. 23 as people filled the pews. 

It was a special blessing for a special project, leading parishioners into a special year.   


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